Obligatory Starting a New Job Post
Whenever you switch jobs, there is a trend to blog about it. Along with that, there is a formula involved: announce, give history, praise current position, talk up new position, and finally recruit for your new company. So, as not to disappoint - and not to deviate from the formula, here I go... I’ve been working for, what I fondly refer to as $largecompany for around four years now. I started just as they were forming a new User Experience group lead by Stephen Anderson. Over the years, the group morphed and grew - and I’ve now been managing the group for a awhile.
What’s great about starting with a brand new group is that you get to introduce the world of design, usability, and user experience to a fresh group of developers, project managers, and business analysts. And we did just that.
Four years later, and a re-org from technology to marketing, everyone from the marketing managers down to the developers ask for, talk about, and request our help and guidance. We’ve gone from “let make this functional”, to “how can we make this better for our users”. And that’s a great thing.
Over the past four years, I’ve also fully enjoyed the people and culture at $largecompany. I’ve been apart of UX weeks, Hack Days, Dev Houses, speaker series, intern programs, World Usability Days, and more. They truly work to make $largecompany a great place to be employed.
Add to that all the great people I’ve met over the years - I’ve never worked anywhere where I’ve had so few “political” office issues. Which is a good thing - it leaves you to focus on doing great work.
With that, there was an opportunity too big to pass up. A traditionally brick-and-mortar company in the area, looking to compete and win in the digital space.
GameStop based in Grapevine, TX has over 6,000 retail locations worldwide and over the last 12 months, they’ve had over 9 billion in sales. That’s a lot of video games (of which I’ve purchased my fare share).
Here’s what’s going on at GameStop:
- Thanks to Kongregate’s traffic (which they just acquired) , GameStop now has another 10 million unique visitors a month to its already-popular web site. (link)
- TIME Magazine Selects Kongregate as One of the Best US Websites of 2010 (link)
- The new store is a model for how GameStop will marry online games with packaged goods. It has downloadable and Flash-based games on a web-connected PC. It has reward program kiosks, big displays for watching demos, and all sorts of other technology. (link)
- Based on the used inventory and trade in comp improvements seen over the last few weeks, we project that the used products category will increase between 7% and 9% in the third quarter. (http://seekingalpha.com/article/221383-gamestop-ceo-discusses-q2-2010-results-earnings-call-transcript?source=thestreet)
- During Q3, we will begin rolling out a buy online, pickup in store program, fully implement our royalty program on the web, incorporate the sale of Microsoft and Sony Digital add on content including STOA, full game downloads and launch our enhanced user social commerce features. (link)
- ...we are seeing a tremendous participation. We called out the number of transactions that include a PowerUp number. That gives us great visibility when over 50% of the transactions have a PowerUp number associated with them. So we can look at that consumer behavior pretty well. (link)
- ...In the last few weeks alone (8/2009), the company opened up a casual games digital storefront to enhance its PC games online storefront, appointed a new head of digital media, and claimed that it would become the world's biggest digital aggregator. (link)
- total market cap of all public games companies globally had reached $105 billion (link)
A lot is going on at GameStop, as well as the gaming industry in general.
My new role will be Director of User Experience at GameStop, and I’m excited to be involved many of the things mentioned above - as both a UX Designer, and a lifelong gamer.
I have to mention, GameStop is close to my heart - I actually worked at Software ETC (which eventually became GameStop) while in college, and have held gaming as a hobby since playing games on my dad’s Atari.
From a professional standpoint, moving to a consumer site is also something I’ve wanted to do for awhile. In my recent past, I’ve been working on “expert” productivity applications - and had a buffer between me and the final product. GameStop puts me much closer to having a strong positive impact on the final product.
Last in the formula, ...recruitment! Are you interested in any of the above? Do you want to work with some of the greatest video game brands in the world? A new team is currently being formed, and you could be part of it!
We’re going to be working on a mix of design, user experience, e-commerce, social networking, user generated content, gaming... just about everything! We’re helping to shape the future of a great brand.
Check out the job posting: http://www.linkedin.com/jobs?viewJob=&jobId=1071759
And if you’re a GameStop fan, don’t hesitate let me know if you feel something is broken, I just might be able to fix it ;-)
Last, if you're interested in gaming - check out my new gamer news twitter account @gamerposts.